Striker Sean Rooney is excited about returning to Australia to play for the Oakleigh Cannons and hopes it can put him in the shop window for the A-League.
Rooney previously played in the National Youth League with Sydney FC and spent three years with the Newcastle Jets.
The 26-year old scored three goals in 29 A-League appearances for the Jets in an injury-plagued spell.
Rooney has signed for Oakleigh after two seasons with Bengaluru FC in India.
“I was thinking I’ve been in India for a while and I wanted to go home,” he told FourFourTwo.
“In India they come back to pre-season really early but the season doesn’t start until mid-January. I thought it would nice to come back home and it would be a new challenge for me in Melbourne.
“More to spend a bit of time at home and then November, December time I can make a move abroad. But my real goal is to have another crack at the A-League. Hopefully I get a chance to do that because I think my time at Newcastle, when I was fit I did well.
“But I had a lot of bad runs with injury but as I’ve got older I’ve matured, I’ve played a lot of games in a row and travelled a lot. I think I’m ready to give it another crack if I get the chance. That’s my main goal."
Rooney has joined the Cannons along with former A-League players Kofi Danning and Matthew Foschini.
After the departure of Miron Bleiberg, the Victorian NPL club have been coached by Australian Arthur Papas, who was most recently in charge of I-League club Dempo SC.
“Arthur’s a good guy,” Rooney said.
“One of my childhood friends Mirjan Pavlovic is down there as well. I knew Kofi and Matthew as well. I’ve got a lot of respect for Arthur as a coach and as a person.
“When we’re all playing we should give it a good run.”
Oakleigh are currently in eighth place in the 14-team NPL Victoria and will face South Springvale for a spot in the round of 32 of the FFA Cup.
Rooney has enjoyed great success in India with Bengaluru FC, winning the title in 2013-2014 and finishing second in the 2014-2015 campaign.
The forward and his club dramatically failed to defend their I-League crown in the last game of the season.
“Going into the last game with Mohun Bagan they were two points ahead of us, we played them in the last game of the season,” Rooney said.
“If we win, we win the title. We were winning until the 85th minute and they scored off a set-piece. It was actually heartbreaking, I felt sick. We had it in our hands and in the 85th minute for them to score from a set-piece just killed us.
“I’m still not over it now. [But] we went 13 games unbeaten so we did well. It was a very successful season, we won the Federation Cup at the start of the year. We finished second in the I-League and got to the second round of the AFC Cup.
“I enjoyed my whole two years there, the club was fantastic, everyone at the club was fantastic. It was a really good experience. The fans are fantastic, they back you all the way. They’ve got the best fans in India. Bangalore was probably one of the best football experiences I’ve had."comments